Confession Times at the Cathedral
Monday – Friday
7:45 am, 11:45 am and 4:45 pm
7:45 am, 11:45 am, 4 – 5 pm.
Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Jesus is waiting for you in the Sacrament of mercy.
A Guide to Confession
The basic requirement for a good Confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the “prodigal son” and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before his representative, the priest.
“To those who have been far away from the sacrament of Reconciliation and forgiving love I make this appeal: come back to this source of grace; do not be afraid! Christ himself is waiting for you. He will hear you and you will be at peace with God!”
-St. John Paul II
Q. Why Confession? What happens as a result?
Christ’s love is shown in the fact that he seeks the lost and heals the sick. This is why he gave us this sacrament, to free us from sin and strengthen us in our spiritual weakness. (Note: It’s also often called Reconciliation or Penance). Among the incredible effects of Confession are reconciliation with God and the Church, restoration of sanctifying grace if lost through mortal sin, freedom, joy, a peaceful conscience, consolation, moral strength, and a fresh start. Going to Confession is like diving into the ocean of God’s mercy.
Q. We have Baptism which reconciles us with God, so why do we need Confession?
Baptism does free us from the power of sin and death and brings us into the new life of the children of God, but it doesn’t free us from human weakness and the inclination to sin. That’s why we need a place where
we can be reconciled with God over and over. That place is Confession.
Q. Where does the sacrament come from?
From the Lord himself. Jesus forgave sins in the power of the Holy Spirit, and he handed that power on to the apostles when he said to them on Easter Sunday: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they
are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22- 23). This sacred power is handed down to their successors, the bishops, and the priests who assist them.
Q. Why do I need to confess to a priest?
Put simply, it’s God’s plan. The priest is the minister of the sacrament acting in the person of Christ. In fact, the confession of sins to a priest is the only ordinary way to have mortal sins forgiven after Baptism. Also, God knows how we can rationalize our sins away and sweep them under the rug. And so he wants us to tell our sins and to acknowledge them in a personal encounter. Know that we fall into the loving arms of our heavenly Father when we go to a priest and confess.
Q. What if I’m embarrassed because I don’t know how to prepare, or what to do in Confession?
No problem—that’s the reason for this confession kit. If in doubt, feel free to ask the priest to guide you during Confession. He’s there to serve you.
Q. Won’t I shock the priest with what I say?
Remember that priests have heard thousands of confessions over the years, and there are really no new sins. It’s a great privilege for priests to hear confessions and be instruments of the Father’s mercy.
Q. Will the priest think badly of me afterwards?
No, quite the opposite. He’ll be inspired by your humility and courage, and likely won’t remember your sins anyway. And remember, priests have to go to Confession, too. Even the Pope has to confess his sins to
Q. May a priest later repeat something he heard in Confession?
Under no circumstances. If a priest did tell any person–even the police–something he heard in the confessional, he would be excommunicated.
Q. I’ve done some really awful things. Will God forgive me?
“Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more” (Rom. 5:20). God’s mercy is greater than all our sins. Assuming you are truly sorry for what you’ve done and willing to make necessary changes, the answer is YES.
God longs for you to return to his merciful Heart.
EXAMINATION OF CONCIENCE
Recall your sins. Calmly ask yourself what you have done with full knowledge and full consent against God’s and the Church’s Commandments.
- When was my last good Confession? Did I receive Communion or other sacraments in the state of mortal sin? Did I intentionally fail to confess some mortal sin in my previous Confession?
- Did I seriously doubt my faith or put myself in danger of losing my faith through readings hostile to Catholic teachings or involvement in non-Catholic sects? Did I engage in superstitious practices: palm reading, fortune telling, etc.Did I take the name of God in vain? Did I curse, or take a false oath?
- Did I take the name of God in vain? Did I curse, or take a false oath?Did I miss Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation through my own fault, without any serious reason? Did I keep fast and abstinence on the prescribed days?
- Did I miss Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation through my own fault, without any serious reason? Did I keep fast and abstinence on the prescribed days?Did I disobey my parents and lawful superiors in important matters?
- Did I disobey my parents and lawful superiors in important matters?Did I hate or quarrel with anyone, or desire revenge? Did I refuse to forgive? Did I hurt or cause to kill someone? Did I get drunk? Did I take illicit drugs? Did I, consent to, recommend, advise or actively take part in an abortion?
- Did I hate or quarrel with anyone, or desire revenge? Did I refuse to forgive? Did I hurt or cause to kill someone? Did I get drunk? Did I take illicit drugs? Did I, consent to, recommend, advise or actively take part in an abortion?
- Did I willfully look at indecent pictures or watch immoral movies? Did I read immoral books or magazines? Did I engage in impure jokes or conversations? Did I willfully entertain impure thoughts or feelings? Did I commit impure acts, alone or with others? Did I take contraceptive or abortifacient pills or use other artificial means in order to prevent conception?
- Did I steal or damage another’s property? How much? Have I made reparation for the damages done? Have I been dishonest in my business relations?Did I tell lies? Did I sin by calumny, or detraction telling the unknown grave faults of others without necessity; even if they are true? Did I judge others rashly in serious matters? Have I tried to make restitution for the bad reputation I caused?
- Did I tell lies? Did I sin by calumny, or detraction telling the unknown grave faults of others without necessity; even if they are true? Did I judge others rashly in serious matters? Have I tried to make restitution for the bad reputation I caused?
Be truly sorry for your sins: “The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent is contrition a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance.
Understood in this way, contrition is therefore the beginning and the heart of conversion which brings the person back to God like the Prodigal Son returning to his father, and which has in the sacrament of Penance its visible sign and which perfects attrition.”
– St. John Paul II, Reconciliatio et Pænitentia, N. 31. 1983
The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic.
This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary a resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God’s grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.
• You can begin your confession by making the sign of the cross and greeting the priest: “Bless me father, for I have sinned.”
• The priest gives you a blessing and you may respond by reciting the words St. Peter said to Christ “Lord you know all things; you know that I love you.”
• You may continue with the time since your last confession: “My last good confession was…(how many weeks, months or years approximately).”
• Say the sins that you remember start with the one that is most difficult to say, after this it will be easier to mention the rest. If you received general absolution, tell this and the sins forgiven then to the priest.
Give thanks to God forgiving you again. If you recall some serious sin you forgot to tell, rest assured that it has been forgiven with the others, but be sure to confess it in your next Confession.